Girdles. They’re oppressive. They’re uncomfortable. But in recovering from childbirth and pregnancy? Oh, so essential.
I only wish I knew about these with any of my other three pregnancies. I heard about them from a pregnancy magazine, so true to self, decided to research every kind there was, the benefits of all types, and of course, best bargain for your dollar…and this is my conclusion:
Bellefit is a company that makes medical grade compression girdles that help women recover from c-sections, natural child birth, diastasis-recti, hysterectomies, and abdominal surgery. After a baby, it is recommended to begin wearing one the day you return home, from the hospital. During pregnancy, a woman accumulates one and a half times her normal volume of blood, in addition to extra fluids towards the end of her term, as well as while in the hospital. I know that with all of my births, I never went naturally. I joke that my uterus is like the Ritz because every single baby has been forced out, so of course the hospitals have always attached IVs and pumped me full of even more fluid. Then factor in the hormones a woman produces during pregnancy: estrogen, progesterone, and relaxin. These guys are like unwanted house guests that never leave. They even stay in your body for up to six months after you’ve delivered the baby. These hormones are what allows our bodies to stretch and rearrange itself to accustom a growing baby.
Did you know the abdominal area stretches as much as half its original size? No wonder it’s so hard to bounce back. Cue: compression girdle.
The compression girdle is an unspoken wonder. Your body, post baby, will try to get back to its normal self. Doctors always say to drink plenty of fluids…fluids in force fluids out. By compressing the abdominal area, you are literally forcing fluids out of your body. This is serious and it may be t.m.i., but I had to pee constantly. Within one week of birth I was down twelve pounds, retaining no visible fluid. The bellefit girdle also forces your organs to move back to their original locations and shape more quickly. Hello giant uterus.
On top of all this, it really makes you feel more secure. It supports your torso which has been out of commission for nine months, so moving around isn’t so dreadful.
So that’s how it works. I followed the website’s instructions and measured myself at 35 weeks and ordered my size. Within a week and a half, I had to order the next size down because the one I had was falling down! I used the standard corset at first, followed by the corset with side zipper. The only reason I changed the type was because the size I needed was on back-order and the company is so wonderful, they gave it to me at the same price as the traditional corset, which is about $35 cheaper. Bellefit is a bit pricey, averaging around $100, depending on which of the four types you choose. I preferred the traditional corset because the more expensive one has a size zipper for additional compression that is a bit uncomfortable. However, I have to say, it has been my favorite investment. I don’t think you can put a price on self esteem and confidence, and having experienced the other end of the spectrum last pregnancy with my jacked up thyroid, having something assist you naturally in getting your body back is so worth it.
My over all opinion is that I absolutely love this product! The ONLY downside I have experienced is muffin butt. It’s really unattractive. Maybe if you have a very small butt you won’t have this happen to you, but my girdle squashes my rear end and half of it is bulging out the bottom! You MUST wear long shirts that are not clingy to the rear if you have any type of tush at all. Seriously. It has become a joke in my house with my husband. It really is the muffin top’s ugly cousin. That being said, I am down to ten more pounds to lose at 3 weeks post partum, and although my midsection is currently still soft, it is flat and lacking the normal swollen uterus look that mine usually has post baby. I will continue to wear it until my 6 week post partum visit, and then my butt and I will rejoice in not being bound anymore.